Incorporation Transparency

FACT Sheet: Business Case for Ending Anonymous Companies

Anonymous companies are behind just about every financial crime.  They are the vehicle of choice for laundering money obtained through illicit activity.  Schemes involving terror financing and the trafficking of drugs, illegal weapons, and humans all use anonymous companies to move money, fund operations, and allow bad actors to escape with the proceeds of their crimes and impunity.

The pervasive use of secret shell companies has also begun to impact the broader economy.  As such, more and more businesses are speaking out.

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FACT Sheet: Anonymous Companies and National Security

The 2016 release of the Panama Papers was an avalanche of data on the nefarious use of anonymous companies for corrupt activities.  The leak showed that shell companies can represent an important nexus of corruption, money laundering, transnational organized crime, and terrorism, all of which directly harm U.S. foreign policy interests. Such companies have been used to divert U.S. security and overseas development funds from their intended purposes into the hands of those who seek to do the United States harm, and they can help fund the very insurgents and terrorists U.S. troops are fighting.

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FACT Sheet: Anonymous Shell Companies (August 2017)

America Is the Easiest Country in the World in which to Form an Anonymous Shell Company.

Creating a U.S. shell company takes less information than acquiring a library card.  A 2015 academic study found that the U.S. is the easiest country in the world for terrorists and criminals to open anonymous shell companies to launder their money with impunity.

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Bipartisan Momentum Builds as Senators Introduce Measure to Curb Money Laundering, Terror Financing

Sen. Wyden and Sen. Rubio’s “Corporate Transparency Act” — Companion to Rep. Maloney and Rep. King’s H.R.3089 — Would End Incorporation of Anonymous Companies

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Momentum continued to build towards curbing criminal money laundering and terror finance Thursday as Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Corporate Transparency Act (S.1717), the Senate companion to a bipartisan House bill (H.R.3089) aimed at ending the abuse of anonymous shell companies.

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From Pakistan to Park Lane via Panama

By Naomi Hirst

How Prime Minister Sharif’s Family Used Anonymous Companies

Over a year on and the effect of the Panama Papers continues to reverberate.

 Last week, the leaks claimed another political scalp: Pakistan’s Supreme Court has removed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office. The leaks showed how Sharif and his children were linked to prestigious Park Lane apartments in London through a complex web of anonymously owned British Virgin Island (BVI) companies.
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Letter to Reps. Lynch, King, and Maloney Supporting Aircraft Ownership Transparency Act (H.R. 3544)

The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition) sent a letter to Reps. Lynch, Maloney, and King thanking them for their support regarding Aircraft Ownership Transparency Act of 2017 (H.R.3544) which aims to secure the U.S. aviation system from criminal actors and terrorists hiding behind anonymous shell companies. The full letter can be read below or downloaded here.

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Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Secure Airways from Criminals and Terrorists

FACT Coalition Supports ‘Aircraft Ownership Transparency Act of 2017’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill Friday to secure the U.S. aviation system from criminal actors and terrorists hiding behind anonymous shell companies, in a move welcomed by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition.

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Encouraging Signs for a Possible U.S. Legislative Crackdown on Anonymous Companies

By Gary Kalman

A little over a year ago, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released the Panama Papers, a treasure trove of information and a window into the world of financial secrecy. In some ways, much of what the Panama Papers revealed was already well known. Previous estimates put the amount of money hidden in offshore secrecy havens somewhere between $8 trillion and $32 trillion. In 2015, The New York Times published an impressive five-part series on the use of anonymous shell companies to purchase prime real estate in New York City. Prior to that, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit (which they just won on June 29th) to force the forfeiture of New York property secretly owned by the government of Iran in direct violation of economic sanctions. And so on. Yet it is hard to deny the captivating intrigue of the specific stories in the Panama Papers involving Russian kleptocrats, world leaders, athletes, movie stars, and others.

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